Cloud Platform Release Announcement for December 19, 2018

Azure SQL Data Warehouse | Informatica iPaaS integration is now available

Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) on Azure is now generally available, enabling an intelligent discovery-driven approach to migrate legacy data warehouse workloads to Azure SQL Data Warehouse. IICS on Azure optimizes multi-cloud, hybrid environments with a streamlined experience, allowing you to launch IICS with a single click directly from the Microsoft Azure portal. Two key use cases enabled by IICS on Azure are data integration with prebuilt mappings and data accelerator for simplified migration to Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

Power BI | Power BI Desktop is now available

Power BI Desktop is now completely accessible for both report consumption and report creation. One of the most asked for features related to Q&A—support for live connect—is now available in preview. There are also lots of smaller improvements across the product, such as customizable tooltips for buttons and a larger DAX formula bar.

For more information, see the Power BI blog.

Power BI | Power BI Service is now available

Significant updates are coming to the Power BI service in December. For example, the preview of Power BI dataflows and Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 integration, Power BI solution templates moving to open source, and updates to natural language query.

For more information, see the Power BI blog.

Azure Database Migration Service | Premium tier is now available

Azure Database Migration Service, the fully managed service designed for both operational database and data warehouse migrations, now supports offline and online migrations using the premium tier. The premium tier (formerly known as business critical) currently supports 4 vCore SKU and allows you to execute large or business-critical workload migrations. This includes online migrations with near zero downtime and offline migrations, at faster migration speed.

Learn more about availability and take advantage of the Quickstart and Tutorial articles in the Azure Database Migration Service documentation.

Support for SQL to Azure SQL DB Managed Instance online migrations

Now, you can migrate SQL Server databases to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance with minimal downtime by using generally available functionality in the Azure Database Migration Service. Use the Azure portal to create an instance of Azure Database Migration Service as a first step in performing migrations from SQL Server on-premises or on virtual machines to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance.

Learn more about Azure Database Migration Service.

Cognitive Services | Speech Services neural text-to-speech capability is now in preview

Cognitive Services Speech Services now offers a neural text-to-speech capability in preview. Use this capability to deploy voices to apps that are nearly indistinguishable from the human voice. The neural text-to-speech capability enables you to make interactions with chatbots and virtual assistants more natural and engaging, to convert digital text such as e-books into audiobooks, and to enhance vehicle navigation systems, in addition to other features.

To learn more about this capability in preview, please read our announcement blog and go to the product webpage.

For details on discounts available during preview, visit the Speech Services pricing page.

Service Bus Java SDK update

A new version of Azure Service Bus Java SDK is now available.

The new Java SDK release supports the following:

  • Management operations—create, get/read, update, and delete on queues, topics, subscriptions, and rules
  • New message body encapsulation to better map to AMQP messages—AMQP value and AMQP sequence
  • Transaction support
  • Proxy support
  • WebSocket support

This builds on to the current generation of our Java SDK capabilities, which are primarily focused on supporting runtime operations (send and receive) on queues, topics and subscriptions.

The Azure Service Bus Java SDK is freely available and open source for anyone to contribute to. Detailed samples are also available.

Azure Service Bus and Azure Event Hubs |Virtual network and IP filters/firewalls are now available

Virtual networks and firewall rules for both Azure Event Hubs and Azure Service Bus are now generally available. This feature adds to the security and control Azure you have over your cloud environments. Take advantage of the Azure backbone network to secure access to your premium Azure Service Bus namespaces and standard and dedicated Azure Events Hubs offerings on all public regions.

To learn more about these capabilities and how to enable them, please visit:

Azure Cosmos DB emulator support for Cassandra API

Now generally available, Azure Cosmos DB provides support for its Cassandra API, in addition to support for SQL and MongoDB APIs. Users migrating existing or developing new Cassandra applications can now use the Azure Cosmos DB emulator to develop and test their applications locally at no cost. Users can also optionally deploy the Azure Cosmos DB emulator in a Docker for Windows container and test there as well.

Learn more by reading our documentation, "Introduction to the Azure Cosmos DB Cassandra API".

Dev/test pricing for Azure SQL Database Managed Instance now available

Dev/test pricing is now available for SQL Database Managed Instance as part of the Azure Enterprise Dev/test offer, providing a cost-effective way to run your development and testing workloads on Azure SQL Database. With Dev/test pricing for Azure SQL Database, you can save up to 55 percent versus list prices.

Get started today with a Visual Studio subscription and visit the Azure Dev/Test pricing page for more information. Determine your savings with our pricing calculator.

SQL Data Warehouse | Virtual network service endpoints

Virtual network (VNET) service endpoints for Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) are generally available in all Azure regions. Virtual network service endpoints enable you to isolate connectivity to your logical server from a given subnet or set of subnets within your virtual network. The traffic to Azure SQL Data Warehouse from your VNET will always stay within the Azure backbone network. This direct route will be preferred over any specific routes that take internet traffic through virtual appliances or on-premises. There’s no additional billing for virtual network access through service endpoints, and there’s no additional cost for this enterprise-grade security feature.